Permanent Supportive Housing in the Atlanta Tri-Jurisdiction
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In the early to mid-2000s there was a national push to address growing homelessness in the United States. As a result over 200 jurisdictions have enacted “blueprints” or plans to end homelessness in ten years. Midway through the duration of the plans we were met with a financial crisis that led to the “Great Recession.” As a result, factors such as increased unemployment and decreasing government and philanthropic funding have helped to increase the risk of homelessness and the number of people living on the streets and in shelters. Over time, policy makers have initiated a number of responses to eliminate the number of people living on the streets, and place them in shelters or homes. More recently, there has been a shift away from focusing on treatment and rehabilitation of certain subgroups of homeless, toward ensuring placement in permanent affordable housing, with a secondary focus on simultaneously providing supportive services. In 2003, the Regional Commission to End Homelessness commenced the Blueprint to End Homelessness in 10 Years (Citizens Commission on Homelessness, 2004). Though homelessness has decreased since adopting the plan, the goal of ending homelessness has yet to be reached in any jurisdiction and there are increasing questions as to whether or not trying to eradicate homelessness is even a realistic goal. This paper examines the role and needs of permanent supportive housing in the Atlanta Tri-Jurisdiction, which covers the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, and Fulton County. In addition, through case studies of other plans to end homelessness, and strategies by other cities looking to increase the supply of affordable and permanent supportive housing, I set out a number of recommendations housing production and efficient steps to carrying out the continued efforts at reducing homelessness.